The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

The Amazing History of the USS Barb (SS 220)

The Amazing History of the USS Barb (SS 220)

When it comes to submarine action during World War II, there are a number of standouts, and among them is the submarine USS Barb (SS 220). But what makes USS Barb unique? No other submarine can boast a train on its battle flag. One of the Submarine's Main Characters There can't be a story about USS Barb without mentioning one of the submarine's main characters: commanding officer Lt. Cmdr. Eugene B. Fluckey. The Washington, D.C.-native was to Barb as chocolate is to peanut butter. While there...

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Famous Army Units: Department of the Army Special Photographic Office (DASPO)

Famous Army Units: Department of the Army Special Photographic Office (DASPO)

By 1962 the world was becoming a very scary place punctuated by continuing confrontations between global communist and democratic powers, alongside growing civil, racial, and political unrest.  In Southeast Asia, the Korean War brought an indecisive outcome, and the tide of combat in Vietnam now favored communist forces despite US advisors in place since 1956.  Further, in 1961 alone there was an armed conflict between communist and democratic armies along the Chinese-Burma border, UN...

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CSM Patrick Gavin Tadina – Vietnam War’s Longest Continuously Serving Ranger

CSM Patrick Gavin Tadina – Vietnam War’s Longest Continuously Serving Ranger

A 30-year Army veteran who was the longest continuously serving Ranger in Vietnam and one of the war's most decorated enlisted soldiers died. Patrick Gavin Tadina served in Vietnam for over five years straight between 1965 and 1970, leading long-range reconnaissance patrols deep into enemy territory - often dressed in black pajamas and sandals and carrying an AK-47. The retired Command Sergeant Major Patrick Gavin Tadina died May 29, 2020, in North Carolina. He was 77. "Early this...

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Famous Marine Corps Units: George Company (G Co), 3rd Bn, 1st Marine Regiment

Famous Marine Corps Units: George Company (G Co), 3rd Bn, 1st Marine Regiment

The 1st Marine Division, the oldest and largest active duty division of the United States Marines is perhaps best known by the nickname coined following World War II, “The Old Breed”.  With a long and distinguished history, no subordinate unit better reflects the honor and best traditions of the Marine Corp than the 3rd Battalion, G Company during the Korean War.  George Company served gallantly spanning Incheon, Seoul, Wonsan landings and Chosin Reservoir, pushing the limits of...

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Brig Gen James Robinson Risner, U.S. Air Force (1943 – 1976)

Brig Gen James Robinson Risner, U.S. Air Force (1943 – 1976)

James Robinson Risner was a man of humble origins, son of an Arkansas sharecropper, educated at secondary school level, not particularly ambitious, a common man save for two things: He could fly the hell out of an airplane; and, under terribly difficult circumstances as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam, he rose to a level of heroic leadership matched by few men in American military history. Born in Mammoth Springs, Arkansas on Jan. 16, 1925 and raised in a religious family, Robinson Risner...

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Korean War – Firefight at Outpost 3 (1952)

Korean War – Firefight at Outpost 3 (1952)

"There were 80 of us on that hill when an estimated 600-800 Chinese hit us hard that night. Sixty-six of us were killed, wounded or missing."PFC Edgar "Bart"Dauberman, USMC "Easy"Company, 2d Battalion 5th Marines  In the spring of 1952, General James A. Van Fleet, USA, Commander, 8th United States Army in Korea and supreme commander of all Allied Forces in Korea, undertook one of the most audacious operations in the history of warfare. With his Army fully engaged against Chinese and...

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The Ship That Wouldn’t Die

The Ship That Wouldn’t Die

The USS Laffey (DD-724) was laid down 28 June 1943 by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine. She was launched 21 November; sponsored by Miss Beatrice F. Laffey, daughter of Medal of Honor recipient S1c Bartlett Laffey. Commissioned 8 February 1944, Cdr. F. Julian. Becton as her first "Captain". Commander Frederick Julian Becton, Captain of the Destroyer USS Laffey After shakedown, the Laffey traveled the world in the war effort. She was off the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. Off Cherbourg, France...

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Col James Kasler, U.S. Air Force (1950-1975)

Col James Kasler, U.S. Air Force (1950-1975)

James Helms Kasler was born on May 2, 1926, in South Bend, Indiana and following 30-years of distinguished military service, retired as a U.S. Air Force Colonel. Three times he went off to war and three times returned home. During his career, he is the only person to be awarded three Air Force Crosses. He also was awarded two Silver Stars, Legion of Merit, nine Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Purple Hearts, eleven Air Medals and Bronze Star with V for valor. Setting aside recipients of the...

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The Second Most Decorated Soldier of WWII

The Second Most Decorated Soldier of WWII

The 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division (known as "The Cottonbalers" from their use of a cotton bale breastworks during the Battle of New Orleans under Andrew Jackson), has served in more campaigns than any other infantry unit in the United States Army. In World War II, the regiment fought German forces on three fronts, North Africa, Italy, and Northwest Europe, quite probably serving more time in combat than any other regiment in the U.S. Army during the war. The regiment's numerous...

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Heroes of Hill 488

Heroes of Hill 488

During the Vietnam War, one of the 1st Marine Division's primary area of operation was the southern two provinces of I Corps - Quang Tin and Quang Ngai, located in the southern portion of South Vietnam's I Corps Military Region. Astride the boundary between Quang Nam and Quang Tin provinces is the populous, rice-rich Que Son Valley, considered as strategically important in controlling South Vietnam's five northern provinces. For that reason, it was a principal focus for the Marines in I...

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Maj. Gen. Sidney Shachnow (1952–1994)

Maj. Gen. Sidney Shachnow (1952–1994)

Along the way, the general became a legendary Special Forces officer, revered by many in the close-knit community of Green Berets. Major General's Sidney Shachnow Biography Born in Lithuania in 1934, Shachnow faced oppression in his homeland and found his calling in the U.S. Army after immigrating to America in 1950. He enlisted in the military in 1955 and served for more than 39 years, including 32 in the Special Forces community. His top posts included leadership of the John F. Kennedy...

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CPT Joe Ronnie Hooper, U.S. Army (1956-1978)

CPT Joe Ronnie Hooper, U.S. Army (1956-1978)

Joe Ronnie Hooper had his share non-judicial punishments (authorized by Article 15 of UCMJ), racked up 115 confirmed kills and was awarded the Medal of Honor. He was also one of the most decorated soldiers in American international combat. Brief Navy Service Born in the summer of 1938 in South Carolina, Joe Ronnie Hooper was relocated as a child to Moses Lake, Washington where he attended Moses Lake High School. Originally a Navy man, Hooper first enlisted in December of 1956. After graduation...

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